Residents of Los Angeles Attempt to Preserve Newsstands

Neighbors of the Brentwood section of Los Angeles are fighting against a local Whole Foods market in an effort to preserve one of the few newsstands left in Southern California.

According to a feature story in the L.A. Times, 900 customers of a newsstand that operates on the Whole Foods parking lot on San Vicente Boulevard wish have signed a petition to prevent the eviction of their favorite purveyor of newspapers, magazines and other periodicals that are still in circulation despite the heavy migration to websites and mobile apps.

The owner and operator of that newsstand is a Greek immigrant whose father is a survivor of a World War II concentration camp. His family has traditionally operated newsstands in the United States, up to five in Los Angeles.

Whole Foods has allowed the newsstand to occupy the parking lot as a legacy since it was there when another supermarket operated the site. The stand owner was given an order to relocated, to which he responded with a request to establish a lease agreement. Whole Foods denied the request because it is not within the plans of the store with regard to parking, which has always been a troublesome situation for that particular location.

A few of the supporters of the petition to keep the newsstand are known Hollywood actors who are also customers. Dustin Hoffman is an avid readers of out-of-town newspapers, and other actors such as Luke Wilson and Henry Winkler.

Picking up a magazine or a newspaper these days is something that has become somewhat of a luxury that not many can afford. Lifestyle, arts and fashion magazines from Europe cost more than $10, and similar prices are charged for the Sunday editions of major newspapers such as the New York Times. It stands to reason that a Whole Foods parking lot is an adequate location for a newsstand these days.

In the mid 1980s, Los Angeles was known as a place where news junkies could easily get their fix of printed materials at more than 60 newsstands located around the populous metropolitan area. As the Information Age dawned, many of these newsstands started to lose market significance as content migrated to the internet.

There may be less than 20 newsstands left in Southern California, but the few that remain are doing everything possible to stay afloat. Diversity of publications is one of the keys to staying in business; to this effect, the aforementioned newsstand carries titles such as Hola! from Spain and BBC History.




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